This Healthy Sweet Potato Casserole with candied pecans makes the absolute perfect side dish at your Thanksgiving dinner or at your December holiday party. Do you want to know the best part? It’s lighter than your typical sweet potato casserole and free of refined sugar! Plus it’s easy to make-ahead of time and the perfect side to bring along to a potluck style dinner. Made in partnership with my friends at Ello Products.
Healthy Sweet Potato Casserole
Sweet Potato Casserole is an absolute favorite for many on Thanksgiving! If you haven’t had it before it is a layer of creamy cinnamon laced sweet potatoes topped with either a crumble, marshmallows or in our case, candied pecans. This Healthy Sweet Potato Casserole has all the flavor of the original but lightened up using unrefined sugar. I also love how simple this casserole is to prepare ahead of time and bring with you on-the-go to a potluck friendsgiving.
Sweet Potato Casserole Ingredients
Maple syrup or Honey
Butter (or Ghee or Coconut oil)
Golden Raisins (optional)
Why we Love Ello Bakeware for Making this Dish
To make this extra portable I love baking this in Ello DuraGlass Bakeware Containers. For this recipe we’re using the 8×8 baking dish. These durable glass baking dishes are perfect for both cooking at home and bringing food along to cook on the go. What makes this line of bakeware special is that they come with a protective silicone sleeve that doubles as a trivet so a dish can go from the freezer or refrigerator, to the oven and then right to the table.
That makes these Ello DuraGlass Bakeware with matching lids perfect for holiday baking, especially for make-ahead and on-the-go dishes. Each container is perfectly portable and pretty cute too so it works as both bakeware and a serving dish.
I love using glass both for baking and for storage because it’s free of harmful chemicals, can be heated in the oven, and is (top-rack) dishwasher safe. Plus the crystal clear Tritan lid and colorful silicone sleeve let’s me easily see what is in the containers so I can keep my refrigerator more organized. This is especially helpful during the busy holiday season when there is a lot of food being cooked and prepared ahead of time.
A Perfect Make Ahead Dish
Casseroles are a perfect make-ahead dish. This Healthy Sweet Potato Casserole can be prepared ahead two ways:
You can assemble, but not bake this dish. This is a good option if you are traveling with this dish, but want to eat it freshly baked. Prepare your casserole up until step 7, which is the actual baking time. Let the dish cool completely and then cover with your lid and store until ready to bake.
You can fully bake this dish and reheat. This entire dish can be prepared fully, cooled completely and then stored in the refrigerator, for up to 1 day, until ready to serve. Reheat the dish in a warm oven until heated through, and the pecans are crispy again.
Looking for other Thanksgiving inspiration? Check out these recipes:
Preheat oven to 375ºF and line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.
In a large pot place cubed sweet potatoes and cover with water. Cover and let boil for 15 minutes or until fork-tender.
Meanwhile, make quick candied pecans: Heat a skillet over medium high heat and add 1 cup pecans. Toast until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Carefully add maple syrup and mix to coat all pecans. Once the maple syrup is boiling, remove from heat, and spread on the baking sheet to cool.
Drain potatoes and return back to the pot. To the sweet potatoes add maple syrup, butter, cinnamon, nutmeg vanilla and salt mash together until mostly smooth. If adding raisins, add in now. Alternatively you could pulse this in a food processor or high-speed blender if you want an ultra smooth filling.
Scoop the mashed sweet potato into your Baking dish and smooth over the top.
Garnish the sweet potato casserole with the pecans.
Bake in the preheated oven for 20 minutes and serve warm.
Want to make this dish ahead of time to bring? You have two options!
Make Ahead Instructions:
You can make this dish up until the point of baking. Let it cool completely before covering with the Ello Storage Lid and store for up to 1 day until ready to bake. Or you can fully bake this dish, cool completely, cover and store for up to 1 day and reheat when ready to serve.
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This post is sponsored by Ello Products. All thoughts and opinions are always 100% my own! I love the integrity of their products and think you’ll love them too. Thank you for continuing to support LCK and the brands I work with!
This French Onion Chicken recipe is a keeper! Onions are quickly caramelized on the stove top, before nestling in some chicken, veggies and baked with some optional cheese for an amazing weeknight dinner. It’s gluten-free and only needs about 25 minutes of hands-on cooking.
French Onion Chicken Recipe
We are big fans of French Onion Soup, but we’ve never been big fans of how labor intensive the dish is or how long it takes (which is why we have a recipe for a slow cooker version). But this French Onion Chicken Bake? It’s like the best of both worlds; all that French Onion Soup flavor in a a heartier convenient weeknight dinner format. We also skipped the bread on this one and rely on perfectly cooked juicy chicken breasts to eat up all that caramelized onion flavor. The cheese is optional here, but highly encouraged. To make it a complete meal you can add in either diced potatoes to the bake, or keep it low-carb and use cauliflower florets instead.
Let’s Talk Caramelized Onions
Traditionally, caramelized onions are cooked over a low flame for a long period of time. The water is slowly cooked out of the onions and you are left with a sweet, jam-like consistency. Because we wanted this to be a weeknight dinner that still has all that caramelized onion goodness we’re making “quick” caramelized onions.
To make quick caramelized onions, begin by slicing the onions thin and giving them a 5-minute undisturbed sear at medium-high. The onions will be brown in spots and will start to sweat. You then lower the heat to medium low and cook down for 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally. The onions should be light brown and be fully softened. This is the stage where you want to deglaze the pan with beef broth and dijon mustard and scrape up any of those browned bits from the onions to help give the dish that characteristic dark look. At this point you’ll add in the remaining ingredients and then place the whole dish into the oven to bake for another 20 minutes. The onions will continue to cook and become sweet and jammy.
French Onion Chicken Ingredients
Baby Potatoes (or Cauliflower)
Butter (replace with oil if dairy-free)
Mozzarella or Gruyere Cheese (omit for dairy-free)
Added Vegetable Options
To make this a complete meal we added in the option to include either potatoes or to keep it low-carb cauliflower florets. They are mixed together with the onions before being added to the oven to bake. Other vegetables could work too here, so long as they cook in about the 20 minutes it takes for the chicken to cook through.
What temperature should chicken be cooked in the oven?
The safe temperature for chicken to be cooked to is 165ºF. However chicken will continue to cook for a few minutes after it has been pulled out of the oven so it’s a safe bet to pull out the chicken a few degrees before it hits that temperature. The surest way to know if a chicken breast is cooked through is to use an instant read thermometer. Insert it into the thickest part of the chicken breast and wait about 3 seconds for it to read the degree. We pull our chicken breasts out at 160º and then let the dish sit, lightly covered with tinfoil for 5-10 minutes so the chicken can rest.
If you like this chicken recipe, check out these others:
Heat butter and oil over medium high heat in a large oven safe skillet (12 inches or more, see note). Add onions and cook undisturbed for 5 minutes, until onions start to sweat and have browned in places. Reduce heat to medium low, add salt and and cook for an additional 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the onions have softened. Add garlic and thyme and cook for an additional 2 minutes. Add in beef stock and mustard and scrape up any browned bits and continue to cook until the liquid has reduced by about half, about 2 minutes.
Set aside ½ cup of the onion mixture. Add the cauliflower to the skillet and mix together with the onions.
Season the chicken with salt and pepper then nestle the chicken in the skillet. Divide the set aside onions on top of the chicken.
Place in the preheated oven and bake until chicken is cooked through, about 20 minutes.
Preheat the broiler. Sprinkle the shredded cheese on top of the chicken and place under the broiler until the cheese is melty, about 1 minute.
Remove thyme sprigs and serve.
We kept this low carb by using cauliflower, but if desired you can use halved baby potatoes (about 1”) in place of the cauliflower. Or, if you wanted to make this dish as just the chicken bake, omit the cauliflower all together.
If you do not have a big enough oven safe skillet, you can bake this in a 9x13” oven safe dish.
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This Apple Cinnamon Baked Oatmeal recipe is just what you need to make for breakfast! It is as good freshly baked as it is for meal prep. This classic flavor combination smells so good when it is baking, and bonus it’s so easy to put together. This dairy-free and gluten free oatmeal bake doesn’t contain any refined sugars and is a great fiber-rich and filling breakfast or snack.
You CANNOT go wrong with apple and cinnamon baked in an oatmeal, right? This flavor combination reminds me of the little oatmeal packets I used to have when I was a kid, but of course cleaned up and using whole ingredients that I feel good about baking with and eating. It’s so easy to put together, using only one bowl and once it’s mixed together you place it in the oven and forget it. It’s perfect for breakfast, an after school snack or to bring along to a potluck.
What is baked oatmeal?
Baked oatmeal is essentially an oatmeal casserole! It combines oats, milk of choice, flavoring and eggs with hands-off baking in the oven!
How do you make baked oatmeal?
It’s so easy!
Combine your dry ingredients.
Add in your wet ingredients.
Pour into your greased, or lined with parchment paper, baking dish.
How do you serve baked oatmeal?
There are a few ways you can serve baked oatmeal, besides digging right in with a spoon! You can scoop out a serving into a bowl and add a little extra milk of choice, like a warm cereal. You can slice it and eat is as warm or cold. This makes it a great meal prep options as you can bake it and eat some immediately and pack the rest away for later.
If you like this oat recipe, check out these others:
Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees and grease an 8" x 8" oven-safe dish. If desired, prepare a parchment sling by cutting out a piece of parchment paper slightly larger than the pan and placing it inside.
In a large bowl add eggs and whisk to combine. Then almond milk, maple syrup, apple sauce, oil, and vanilla and whisk to fully combine.
To the wet ingredients add oats, baking powder, chia, cinnamon, salt and grated apples and mix until fully combined.
Pour into prepared 8"x 8" dish and bake for 30-35 minutes, until the center is just barely firm.
Scoop and serve warm as is or with almond milk, or cool and slice into 9 square portions.
We topped the oatmeal bake with a few pieces of diced apple. Reserve a small piece of the apple before grating if desired to top the oatmeal bake with.
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This Low Carb Tuna Casserole (With Cauliflower) is the perfect comfort food meal! It’s easy to prepare, comes together in one casserole dish, and is packed with protein, veggies and we’ve offered two versions to make it low-carb with or without gluten-free pasta. Made in partnership with my friends at Genova Seafood.
Low Carb Tuna Casserole (With Cauliflower)
Tuna casserole is such a classic comfort food! It’s creamy, cheesy and delicious but typically loaded with pasta and processed condensed soup! No hate on that version, but we decided it was time to re-make this dish making it gluten-free and low-carb. We tested two versions, one with pasta and one without so you can choose what amount of carbs you’d like!
For the lower carb version, we use half cauliflower and half brown rice pasta. This version is a bit more kid-friendly and has more of a classic feel to it. For our low carb version we completely swapped out the pasta for cauliflower to keep all that decadent creaminess without any of the guilt for all of those on a low carb diet (oh hey keto diet). Either way, with whatever version you choose, you’re going to be satisfied after eating this tuna noodle casserole!
Of course we made this in partnernship with my friends at Genova Seafood. They are my favorite, trusted tuna company. Genova sources 100% of their tuna from fisheries that are MSC certified, meaning their tuna is sustainably sourced! It honestly is the best premium tuna in the purest olive oil. It is my favorite tasting tuna out there! Always non-GMO, wild-caught, and has 14g of protein in every serving!
MSC certified products must meet rigorous standards for sustainable fishing practices, like limiting by-catch (unwanted fish), avoiding overfishing and protecting marine environments. Today, only 12% of global wild caught seafood is MSC certified, and Genova Seafood is one of the companies working hard to make a change!
How do you make homemade tuna noodle casserole?
If you’re making the pasta version you boil the pasta until al dente.
Saute your aromatics. Here we are using onion, celery and garlic.
Make your base cheese-y sauce (also called a béchamel), using gluten-free ingredients, of course.
Add in the cauliflower and cooked pasta (if using) and bake! We love using an oven safe pan to both start the casserole on the stove and then finish in the oven.
Cooking tools we used with this recipe:
Heavy Bottom Pan (We use one that doubles as an oven safe dish to keep the clean-up minimal)
Add cauliflower and simmer for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Remove from heat and stir in 1/2 cup of cheese. Then add in Genova Seafood Tuna, al dente cooked pasta (Omit for Low Carb Version), frozen peas and mix to fully combine.
Pour into an oven safe dish (if not using one already) and top with remaining 1/4 cup cheese and bake until cauliflower is tender and cheese is melted, 15-20 minutes. If you want the cheese to be bubbly and slightly browned, place under the broiler for 3-5 minutes.
Top with scallions and let sit for 5 minutes before serving.
The sauce may seem really thick before it goes in to the oven, but the cauliflower and the tuna exude a lot of liquid so the extra thick sauce stops it from becoming to0 watery after it is baked.
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These easy, healthier Cheesy Scalloped Potatoes are a classic side dish! This lightened-up version has just the right amount of cheese and baked to perfection!
Cheesy Scalloped Potatoes Recipe
Have you ever have scalloped potatoes? They are made with thinly sliced potatoes (this is the mandolin we recommend), an epic cheese sauce, and then baked to a crispy-topped perfection. So much flavor! This lightened up version is easy to make and so delicious. It’s the perfect side dish for a weekend feast or a holiday celebration.
Ingredients Needed for Scalloped Potatoes
Yukon Gold Potatoes
Arrowroot Starch (this thickens the dish)
Salt and Pepper
Milk (we use Almond Milk)
How to Make Scalloped Potatoes
First you are going to start the sauce for the casserole on the stove. We made our casserole inside an oven-safe skillet to limit the number of dirty dishes. If you don’t have an oven-safe skillet you can cook the this in a regular 8″ baking dish (or one that is a similar size).
To make the cheese sauce you first cook down some onions, then add in some spices along with arrowroot starch. This is what we use to thicken the sauce. Next, whisk in some milk. We use almond milk to keep this a bit healthier, but you can use any milk you typically use. Then, we stir in the cheese.
Once we have our cheese sauce, the potatoes are combined with it and either smoothed over or topped with transferred to a casserole. Top with some additional cheese and bake until the potatoes are fully cooked through and the top is nice and toasty. Garnish with some fresh herbs and serve!
Make Ahead Instructions
The good news is that these scalloped potatoes can be made ahead of time! There are two ways to do this. The first is that the dish can be made entirely up until the point of baking. If you do prep the dish up to the point of baking, store it in the refrigerator for up to 24 hours. You may have to extend the baking time, since it was cold from the refrigerator.
The second way to make this ahead is to bake it entirely, and then reheat before serving. It can be made up to 1 day ahead of time. To re-heat, bake in a preheated oven at 350º until heated through, about 15 minutes.
If you like this healthy side dish recipe, check out these others:
Pre-heat the oven to 425 °F. Grease a casserole dish with butter and set aside.
In a dutch oven or large saucepan, melt butter over medium heat. Add onion, salt, pepper, dried thyme and paprika. Cook until onion is translucent and starting to brown, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and whisk in arrowroot for about 3 minutes.
Pour in milk and bring sauce to a boil. Once at a boil, lower heat and let simmer, uncovered, for 8-10 minutes or until the sauce is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon.
Stir in 2 cups cheddar cheese. Lightly salt and pepper potatoes and add them to the sauce. Stir often for 10 minutes, or until potatoes start to soften.
Transfer potato mixture to a greased casserole dish. Top with more cheddar cheese and bake for 30 minutes uncovered.
Top with scallions and parsley or herb of choice and serve warm!
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This Creamy Pumpkin Casserole is my new favorite fall fish. This optionally dairy-free dish has pumpkin, spinach, and chicken and is topped with a delicious sauce and baked to perfection. It’s Paleo and Whole30, too.
Dairy-free Pumpkin Casserole
I know most people think of sweet when they think of pumpkin, but savory pumpkin dishes are so delicious! There are so many good ones like pumpkin soup and Pumpkin BBQ Sauce and of course, this casserole! This hearty fall dinner is packed full of pumpkin flavor, both in the sauce and within the casserole itself. Plus, this one is paleo friendly and lower-carb thanks to the use of spaghetti squash as the base!
Cooked Spaghetti Squash
Shallot and Onion
Parmesan Cheese (optional, omit for dairy-free)
If you are all about the pumpkin recipes, check out these others:
In a large skillet over medium heat heat 1 tablespoon oil and add onion shallots, and garlic cook for 1-2 minutes, until shallot just starts to become translucent. Add in pumpkin or squash and cook until just about tender, about 8 minutes. Add in chicken, and a big pinch of salt and pepper and continue cook until no pink remains, about 8 minutes. Add in 2 cups of spinach and cook for 3-5 minutes, until spinach starts to wilt. Remove from heat and set aside.
In a small bowl mix all sauce ingredients together and set aside. Grease a 8" x 8" (or similar sized) casserole dish and set aside.
Take spaghetti squash out of oven, let cool. Using a fork scrape out the spaghetti squash into a greased casserole pan. Add in pumpkin and chicken mixture, and top with the sauce. Top with Parmesan, if desired.
Bake at 400 degrees for 10 minutes, and broil for 5 minutes.
Let cool for 10 minutes before serving.
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